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Author: s1873936

Do we need heroes? When I was a graduate student, one of my professors asked me whether I had any academic heroes. This question really threw me. I had no idea how to answer and took – in his perception at least – an inordinately long time to think about it. Eventually, I came out […]

The photo of Einstein sticking out his tongue captured public attention in his day and continues to represent popular opinion of him today. Neiman admitted that she had this image of him in her head when she took up the position of Director at the Einstein Forum, in fact, in 2000 she admits that she ‘didn’t […]

Professor Neiman started her lecture with the question- ‘was she beautiful or not beautiful?’ Henry James commented that she was hideous but he was ‘literally in love with this great horse-faced bluestocking.’ Was this just a preoccupation of the male gaze? Her voice and eyes were described as beautiful ‘positive light’, as if Eliot had […]

This blog gives a summary of Neiman’s third lecture in her series. The focus is on John Brown and it presented an overview of his life and actions and argued why he should be seen as a hero. Below the summary is a response from Kofi Akan Brown, a masters student in Religious Studies and […]

Lecture 2. Odysseus and his critics: The first modern Hero ‘Is it really wine-dark?’ Our second Gifford Lecture of the 2022 series examines the first hero of modern times- Odysseus- as much admired as criticized. What follows is a summary of the lecture and a response by Alice Rae, an interdisciplinary PhD Candidate in Classics […]

Who Needs Heroes? Professor Dorothy Miell welcomed us into 40 George Square for the first of Professor Susan Neiman’s lectures. Already overcoming a laptop malfunction since arriving this morning Professor Neiman, not defeated by Edinburgh’s grey weather and technology’s grey sign leapt into delivering her opening lecture.   Our lecture began with a quote from Thomas Carlyle, […]

Introducing our 2021-22 Gifford Lecturer- Professor Susan Neiman.  Professor Neiman is the Director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia and studied philosophy at Harvard and the Freie Universität Berlin. She has held professorships at Yale and Tel Aviv University. She has published both academic and popular books including […]

Dr Katucha Bento is a Lecturer in Race and Decolonial Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Associate Director of Race.ED Network, and co-founder of the Free Afro-Brazilian University. Colonial legacies and refusal in women’s networks Coloniality deserves special attention to contextualise Professor Hempton’s lecture on “Women’s Networks: Opportunities and Limitations”. First, the context that overlaps […]

Below is the text from the Vote of Thanks given by Professor Stewart J. Brown, professor of Ecclesiastical History and Vice-Convenor of the Gifford Lectureships Committee.   It is my honour, on behalf of the Gifford Committee, to offer some concluding remarks by way of our appreciation to Professor Hempton. Now more than 133 years […]

Professor Hempton greeted us into his last lecture by thanking the University of Edinburgh for their great hospitality and thanking the blog respondents for meeting him for coffee al fresco. His stimulating and energetic lecture however soon warmed up the Playfair library. As usual, below is a short lecture summary, followed by a response by […]


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